9 year old’s fear of loud noises

A was just 9 years old and experiencing high levels of anxiety around loud noises.  At school, special steps were having to be taken every week during the fire alarm test which was escalating to A not wanting to go into school on that day.  Her anxiety was also spreading, leading to distress around the risk of car alarms going off and even her sibling’s noisy toys if they did not have an on/off switch.

A’s experience follows a typical pattern of anxiety and escalation.  In children however, this escalation can be quicker than in adults.

How many sessions did it take?

The age of a child is less relevant than their mental maturity.  In the first session we take small steps to identify if hypnosis is an approach that they can embrace.

A took to the approach easily and quickly and after just one session she was already showing signs of having changed her mental association with noise.  I then sent A a recording to help her learn to relax and feel more in control with the recommendation to use this as often as possible and definitely on Tuesday mornings before school.

The result

After just one session I received the following email from her Mum.

“She has had a breakthrough and it is completely down to talking to you.  Before seeing you she had to leave the school and wait on the field, last week she stood in the room while they set the alarm off!! I am so grateful to you.”

Deeming that progress was being made, we decided to continue to use the recording and then test out the other triggers for her anxiety.

“She isn’t as anxious about other noises now either like car alarms and is no longer having a complete meltdown when her brother plays with noisy toys, she asks him to stop but in a controlled manner,” added Mum.

Not every young child is a perfect candidate for hypnosis however equally, results such as those as A received are achievable and A now has an awareness of risk that will also be with her as she moves forward and faces other challenges as she grows up.

 

If you are not sure if your child is a good candidate for hypnotherapy, please get in touch for an informal chat and we can take it from there.

At 9 years old, B was experiencing high levels of anxiety.  She was a real worrier, concerning herself with things that most 9 year olds do not concern themselves over, and this was affecting her both at school and also leading to bad dreams at night.  She is an accomplished swimmer but was often feeling very sick on the way to lessons and competitions and was also dreading a school sporting event that was on the horizon.  B said her anxiety left her feeling “sad.”

How many sessions did it take?

The age of a child is less relevant than their mental maturity.  In the first session we take small steps to identify if hypnosis is an approach that they can embrace.

B was clearly a very bright little girl and was able to engage easily and quickly.  Even after the introductory session, B reported that she was falling asleep better and was feeling a little less anxious.  The second session is one where we start to use the therapeutic tools under hypnosis.  Children tend to respond very well as we are working with a part of the mind that is playful and imaginative.  We used age appropriate concepts to help her reframe the fears and create a mental resource she could use when she wanted to feel brave.

After the two sessions, I created a personalised recording for B to listen to that would help embed the work we had done together.

The result

I will hand that over to the words of her Mum.

B is doing brilliantly !!   

She is now going to bed without her anxiety attacks and is sleeping right through!! Bedtime is now taking 5 minutes as opposed to 30/40.

She did brilliantly in her sporting event and had no anxiety around it at all.  She ended up looking forward to it and was excited! She came in the top 5.  This was such a confidence booster for her, especially as she had not wanted to participate initially due to her anxiety. 

She had her first gala this weekend.  Yesterday she had lots of tears and didn’t want to attend, so she went into her room, listened to your recording, and calmed herself.  She managed to control her anxiety so well, and although she had a few wobbles on the way, she was fabulous, and once she had managed her first race, the rest went very smoothly, and she loved every minute. She was so excited about the second leg today, with no anxiety at all, and she again did so very well!

Further, much to my surprise, she has decided, pretty much on her own, that she would like to commence tutoring for the 11+. This was never an expectation, as we had always felt that the pressure would be too much for her.  The fact that she feels confident enough to proceed, is incredible.

She is happy and positive and hasn’t had a bad dream for several weeks.  We have seen fabulous results after so few sessions, and the recording has been a excellent tool, which she can access whenever she needs, often of her own accord.  We are most grateful.

 

If you are not sure if your child is a good candidate for hypnotherapy, please get in touch for an informal chat and we can take it from there.

R was just 10 years old and emotionally very intelligent.  She had been persuaded to behave in a way that she knew was wrong by children that were older.  This left her feeling huge amounts of guilt, not only in the knowledge of what she had done, but feelings of having let her parents down.  This had changed a vibrant, bubbly young lady into one that was withdrawn and unhappy.

How many sessions did it take?

We had  just 2 sessions.  The first session all clients experience is what is called a chemistry session.  This is especially key for youngsters as if they do not feel comfortable with the therapist or their methodologies, they will not get the results they deserve.

R was naturally nervous about hypnosis but having had it explained to her, was very open to having her first experience of it.  After this first session, even though we had not used any therapeutic techniques, her Mum reported back that, She is so much more relaxed & happy. She really enjoyed the hypnosis. I don’t want to speak too soon, but it feels like we’ve our daughter back. She’s so much happier.”

So we progressed to have one therapeutic session, using a range of techniques to help address the guilt and to bolster her self-esteem to feel more confident around other children.

The result

R was able to let the past go and move on from the incident and return to being a happy, bright child ready to progress into secondary school with a new level of mental agility and resilience.

And in her own words, “I was really nervous about seeing Caroline, but she comforted me and assured me there was nothing to be nervous about. Before I saw her, my problem was always on my mind, but now I rarely think about it thanks to Caroline.  Thank you for what you did for me Caroline.”

 

If you have a teen (or near tween) who is struggling with inter-personal relationships, please get in touch for an informal chat.

Annabel is a very bright young lady and performing very well at school.  However, despite her good grades, she constantly felt she was not good enough.  The standards she set herself led to high levels of anxiety that were then affecting her sleep.

She also had some physical challenges that were leading to fears around both her own and others’ mortality.  She required an operation and was experiencing very high levels of anxiety around the procedure.

As she was coming close to her GCSE exams, the initial motivation was to get her anxiety back under control.  We needed to improve her sleep and help her to fulfill her full potential in her exams.

Annabel came to the first session with a very open mind.  She had had some counselling before but whilst she felt it had helped with coping strategies, it had not helped her change her low opinion of herself.

She took on board the science behind hypnotherapy,  after her first experience of hypnosis, she described it as, “A deep relaxing sleep.”

Over the course of 6 months we had 8 sessions together.  Initially the focus was on perfectionism and she started to feel a pride in the results she was getting in exams.  This was a big change from anything below her perceived perfect score, being not good enough.

After her mocks, our focus then moved to preparing her for an operation she needed – something that she naturally felt very anxious about.

Shortly after her operation I received a message from her Mum saying, “She was amazing – really positive and calm.”

Annabel is now looking forward with excitement to a summer where she can fully enjoy her social life.  And beyond that, making more progress towards fulfilling her dream of becoming a dentist.

In Annabel’s words, our work together “relieved a lot of anxiety and helped with a phobia (of medical procedures)”

I am confident that this lovely young lady is going to use her new skills to create a very exciting future for herself.

If you can relate to the challenges Annabel faced, please get in touch and we can chat more

M is an 11 year old child who was struggling with a phobia of being sick.  This triggered high levels of anxiety when feeling any form of nausea or stomach discomfort.

Her anxieties were leading to her struggling to settle into the new Secondary School environment, which in turn was creating a high level of anxiety for all at home.  Things were rapidly spiralling downwards.

One of the key things in supporting younger children is creating trust.  M was a very bright child and also emotionally intelligent which helped us to create a platform of understanding of the science behind hypnosis and also the impact her thoughts and experiences were having on her.  From here, she felt more able to ‘open up’ about not only her anxieties but her feelings in relation to how it was affecting her family.

Children tend to be a bit ‘marmite’ with hypnosis – they love it or hate it.  M was very open to it however the experience of allowing her to focus on those fears did cause her to feel a lot of emotion as those pent up feelings were released.  We allowed large periods of time between sessions to allow M time for the mental healing process to occur and to start using the new skills we were developing.  In total, M had 3 sessions with me over a period of nearly 2 months.

Here is what her Mum said:
Caroline has really helped my daughter cope with her phobia of being sick or feeling sick. Whilst M still occasionally gets anxious about new situations, her fear of going to school has completely vanished. She is happy and thriving there.

As a parent, the thing that has been the most helpful to me is the follow up emails Caroline has written to me, to guide me through what has been a very distressing time. She’s a mum too, so really understands what we as parents go through, as children negotiate their way through their anxiety issues. I have also really appreciated her advice on how often she sees M and which different methods she will use – it’s always been about what has been right for M, not about Caroline earning fees.

Highly recommended”

Children are often highly responsive to hypnotherapy and by gaining the tools to use their mind in this way at an early age, have a skill set that can be applied for the rest of their lives.

If you have a child that you are concerned for or would like to know more about hypnotherapy, let’s chat.

This child (pre-teenage) came to see me after having a series of traumatic experiences.  There had been trauma in early childhood which had resulted in a very disturbed sleep pattern.  More recently, this was followed by serious illnesses in beloved grandparents and then the loss of the family dog to whom they were devoted, closely followed by the passing of two guinea pigs.

The ‘snowballing’ continued after experiencing bullying at school resulting in friendship issues which all came to a head during the first Covid Lockdown.

Mum contacted me, concerned for a child who now regularly sleep walked resulting in disturbed nights for both of them.  The child cried most days, had very low esteem often making references to being fat, stupid, ugly etc and was developing a fear of being shut in a room.

All clients experience a ‘chemistry’ session – a specially designed session to help them make the decision as to whether hypnotherapy is the right route for them.  For children, this is even more important as the child needs to feel at ease and have a confidence and trust in the therapist if they are going to feel benefit from our work together.

With this child, there was a great rapport and despite all the trauma, they demonstrated a high level of emotional intelligence.  They enjoyed the first experience of hypnosis and Mum mentioned that even after the first session there was a discernible improvement in their sleep.

We had a total of 4 sessions together and this is what Mum reported back a period after:
“It felt like someone was really listening to what my child had to say for the first time.  You helped build up their self confidence and self-belief.  At the start, their self esteem was low, at the end there was a sense of calm, balance and real self-worth. There is a greater confidence in friendships both in and out of school and whilst there are still frequent stressful situations around relatives, for the first time, they were managed in a calm, considered manner using techniques she had learned with Caroline.

For the first time in their life, they slept the whole night through which was a game changer.

They have been able to understand their father’s behaviour more and to more effectively deal with it and his attitude, including standing up to him and speaking their mind.  Most of all, they now understand that he cannot be changed, the past has passed but they now have an ability to change the way their thoughts about the past and their perception of certain situations. 

My child is happier, more confident and excited about what life throws their way and you have helped them develop this new attitude and zest for adventure and life.  Thank you so much for helping her Caroline, it means the world to both of us.”

If you would like to discuss any issues with regards to children, please get in touch for an informal chat

Maxine has a daughter who was struggling with social anxiety, panic attacks and was ‘of clinical concern to the professionals treating her.’  My work however was not with the teenager, but to support Maxine through the stress of being a parent to an unwell child and this was all provided through an online forum called teenstress101.  In her own words. “I felt overwhelmed and did not understand what I was dealing with and how to help her.”

Teenstress101 is a closed facebook group for parents of teenagers where I provide tips and techniques on supporting teenage anxiety but also in helping support your own stresses that result from parenting.

She went on to say, “Honestly, what I found so comforting was that you, a professionally trained expert and mother of teenagers were willing to give your support to total strangers to genuinely help people who were struggling.

The support I got from you and your forum got me through some dark and difficult months/years.  I also gained some very valuable words/advice regarding my oldest daughter who was in a troubled relationship and the victim of domestic abuse.

I was a little broken at times and you helped put me back together more than once.  Whilst we did have some private message exchanges, sometimes it helped just reading other people’s posts and gave me comfort to know I was not alone.

I am very thankful and appreciate your wonderful kindness and I will remain a member of teenstress101.”

If you are a parent of a teenager (or nearly teen) then please feel free to come and join the forum and find out more about what support is offered.

It was Jessica’s mother who contacted me as she had become increasingly concerned about her daughter (aged 19). When Jessica arrived for the first session she was not sure what she specifically wanted to work on, but was just aware that she was not feeling good about herself.

What emerged during that first session was that Jessica had very low self esteem and did not value herself. She also had no idea of where she was heading which was contributing to a lack of purpose.

Getting started

Like many people, she was sceptical about hypnotherapy. “In the movies, all you see is people acting like a chicken. And whilst I believe it is all staged, I am still sceptical,” she commented.

Jessica came to 4 sessions with me over a period of 6 weeks and when asked again how she viewed hypnosis, she had a very different answer. “Now I’ve done it, it’s so different. You can just talk about problems, but when you get them out of your own head, you can see things differently. It is like being completely in control of your own body but so relaxed that everything around you disappears and you can focus on you.”

The result

At the end of the last session I asked Jessica how she felt our work together had impacted on her. Here is her response:

“All the things that you didn’t think were relevant you realise actually are. My confidence is up. I don’t rely on others as much and am doing what I want rather than what others told me I should be doing. I am living my life the way I want to and not how others tell me to. It has helped so much, made such a difference.”

Jessica is now making a dream she has had for a while a reality and is planning on going travelling in Australia. Initially it was a trip planned with a friend but even though the friend has now dropped out, Jessica is doing what she wants – and making that trip half way across the world all on own. I’m looking forward to getting a postcard…

Charlie is 10 and was prone to outbursts of anger that were affecting both home life and school. His parents had appealed to doctors.  The school nurse had also got involved.  And they had contacted CAMHS without any luck as “He hasn’t been self-harming long enough!”

Getting Started

Charlie is a lovely young man but it became evident as we spoke that his reaction to any sense of injustice was to ‘go nuclear’ – ie utter outrage often including physically directed anger at himself and others.

One of the wonderful things about working with children is that they don’t have the ‘baggage’ that is collected over life. They have an incredible imagination and this can be utilised in hypnotherapy to achieve wonderful results.

We had one session where we worked to recalibrate his anger. Anger is not something you want to get rid of altogether, but Charlie was missing any form of degrees between calm and outraged.

The feedback after this one session was that he was a changed boy; life at home was better, and he was much more relaxed and most importantly, was no longer seeking to hurt himself.

The result

We then met again where Charlie told me with some surprise that all of his teachers seemed to have become much nicer.  He said, “Its a bit like they had all taken a happy pill!”

When it became evident that he was actually the happy pill and it was the change in HIS behaviour that was creating the result, the smile on his face was magical.

We went on in that session to look into the future and give Charlie some tools to use his newfound control and calmness to achieve some goals – which included doing well in his SATS and being the best football player in his team!

In two hypnotherapy sessions here in Salisbury, Charlie has gone from someone who was being destructive and disruptive to a calm boy who ‘wants to be seen by everyone as a kind person’; and that is what can be achieved when you use the power of the subconscious mind. The final word comes from Charlie’s Mum:

We can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for him. When I say he is a different boy I genuinely mean it. The way he copes in situations compared to how he used to is so much better. A level of calm has restored in our house and it’s all thanks to you.”

A mum came to me for help with her child who was still bouncing off the ceiling in the evenings and despite being a very physically active young man, could not get to sleep. In her words:

Saviour of my sanity! Best money ever spent! My 9 year old son has always found getting to sleep very difficult and could lie in bed for over an hour each night without falling asleep. With young children of her own, Caroline made my son feel comfortable with their meeting immediately. Caroline’s method was simple and effective. I know very little about hypnotherapy, but there was nothing scary about the session. The only way I can describe it, is as the most calm hour ever spent in a chair. All through the power of a relaxing voice. Since his first and only required session, my son is now getting to sleep in about 20 minutes or less. My son is delighted with the result and I no longer need to dread bedtime.

Insomnia can affect people in one of two ways, either stopping them falling asleep or waking them throughout the night. The sub conscious causes are different but hypnotherapy is a very effective treatment in overcoming them, regardless of age!